Living Large In Small Spaces - East and West

Twelfth post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

Welcome and thanks for joining me for another installment of Living Large In Small Spaces.

Today we're going to tour two small homes, one in New England and the other on the West Coast. 

The Writer's Cottage

My thanks to James Crisp of Crisp Architects, Millbrook, NY for allowing me the privilege of featuring The Writer's Cottage. 

The cottage is used as a guest house on an estate that once belonged to Pulitzer Prize winner William Styron.

Crisp Architects was hired by the current owners to update the one bedroom, one bath cottage while maintaining its historical integrity.

Wide plank floors, a floor to ceiling stone fireplace, and rugged wood beams and walls set the rustic mood.

"We took our cues from the unpretentious building and kept it simple." ~ James Crisp

The cottage may be unpretentious, but its character is impressive.

Traditional Living Room by Millbrook Architects & Building Designers Crisp Architects

I imagine it as a woodcutter's cottage in a fairy tale.

The tiny kitchen is well-appointed. 

There's a joyous primitiveness about the cottage.

The wagon wheel chandelier was an existing fixture.

The second floor bedroom offers a serene retreat.

Traditional Bathroom by Millbrook Architects & Building Designers Crisp Architects

Although used as a guest house, there's no reason why this cottage couldn't serve as a full-time residence for a single person or couple.

Am I right?

The second home is a 950 square foot cottage located in Laguna Beach, California.

The galley kitchen has plenty of storage and work space. Love those soapstone countertops!

Windows surrounding the eating nook allow natural light to flood the room and make it appear more spacious.

Mirrors on the closet doors give the illusion of more space.

Clark Collins - Collins Design & Development

"My goal on this project was to restore the home to how it would have felt when it was built in 1946 (with a few modern conveniences!)." ~ Clark Collins, Collins Design & Development

I'd say mission accomplished.

Now I'd like to hear your thoughts. Do you feel inspired looking at these small homes?  Could you see yourself living in one of them? 

This post was featured here.
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

From the comments I've received on this series, many
people have been encouraged by the homes and lives shared here.
If you live in a small space I'd 
love to feature your story, too.
Send me an email and let's collaborate.
(See the "Contact Me" page for my email address.)


  1. Ok, so the Millbrook house had me at the dutch front door and kept me swooning and dreaming all the way to that red bath towel! I adore the rustic charm, the wood, the kitchen, the stone fireplace...that's my style! Then I saw the Laguna Beach cottage and thought...hmmm...west coast in winter and east coast in summer? I think that would probably be best compromise! ;) If only...

  2. Oh my gosh that writer's cottage is a DREAM. I love all the charming details!

  3. lovely lovely homes! Both so beautiful!


  4. Both homes are so cozy and sweet. I love the beach cottage the best. Ohhhhhh to live in that little space. Thanks for sharing these beautiful little spaces with us. Love this series Nancy.

  5. The writers cottage caught my fancy! Just loved all the open rustic space, with the old preserved, along with the new mixed in. I loved the West coast cottage too - so bright and cheery, but I have gotten used to not having "close neighbors" and I think I could only live in this cottage out in the "back 40" somewhere lol! Thanks again for allowing us these marvelous peeks into small cottage living!

    1. Location makes a big difference. I like the woodsy surroundings of the Writer's Cottage,

  6. Absolutely beautiful homes.

  7. I AM VERY inspired because you have just broken the wall for me. I mean that in Blogland, we see large, opulent and very over-the-top homes, and it can make some of us (I speak for myself) feel that we have nothing of value. But what you are showing here are two gems packed with so much charm. I am so glad I am following you for many reasons, but seeing these two gorgeous small spaces reminds me that my house also has such charm. It's the small details that beef up the charm. That first New England charmer...oh dear. I lived in Massachusetts for years, and would often enter into these huge estates and once in a while, visit friends who had more humble cottages such as this. I prefer the latter. The primitive wood structures, the darling Dutch door, the beams....then the second cutie. I also lived in Los Angeles and you would have loved the Spanish Colonial I grew up in. Details of wood and little coves in the wall....there is beauty in small.

    WOW. You sent me sailing this morning with ideas! Thank you! Anita

  8. They are both charming! The first one is really rooted in some interesting history. And the second one is sincerely making me consider where I want to live in retirement. I love how airy it feels, and though small, it looks perfectly comfortable. I'm ready to start searching for my very own cottage :)

    1. Julie, I hope you'll blog about your search when you do!

  9. I love both homes, Nancy, but love the history behind the first one and the sweet hominess of it. I love to see the smaller homes and know that is where we are headed in the not too distant future here. Thank you-loved this post. Have a great Sunday- xo Diana

  10. Oh Nancy, I could so live in any of these cottages, but I favor the first one don't you?
    I would love to move in with my pieces, yet being one bedroom does make it difficult for most, but I would certainly make due.

    Thank you for making it over to visit me.
    It means a lot to me to share with like bloggers who have a passion for smallness :)


  11. The two houses are very different and still, they are very inspiring. I love the sense of space the high ceiling gives in the first one and the brigtness of all the white in the second one.

  12. Thank you Nancy for coming by today! It's fun to get to know you and seeing these homes again has really opened my eyes. THANK YOU!! Anita

  13. Very fun. Both are full of charm in different ways.
    I appreciate the series and look forward to more.

  14. hi dera frienda !! las dos casa son muy diferentes , pero las dos hermosas.que tenga una bendecida semana

  15. You found some beautiful cottages. They both look like they would live well and are very welcoming.

  16. Living in a small cottage I can say I just love this series! I love the first home because it is yellow like ours and it inspired me to paint our front door yellow, and add shutters! Living large is so true in smaller homes...we can enjoy our homes just like their were large. I love the intimacy of smaller homes and would never go back to a larger one!

  17. Nancy, it's always a wonderful surprise to see the next small space sweetheart, and today is no exception! The writer's cottage is so very cozy and its historical significance gives it just the right amount of 'drama'. I love the bedroom in the trees, the white wainscoting, the stone walls, and the pale, pretty exterior, but all those dark walls would be too much for my Mediterranean thirst for brightness.

    In contrast, the Laguna Beach beauty is a dream come true! How cute is this cottage with its unique scroll work, first on the exterior window ledges that host pretty flowers, and then on the bookcases inside. I adore everything about this bright, charming beach house, and I'd probably spend the entire day sitting in the window seat of the light filled kitchen, daydreaming...awakened only for the next scrumptious meal!

    Thanks again for bringing some sunshine into this very grey and drizzly day!

    Happy Monday!


  18. Hi Nancy,
    You were one of the winners on my blog this morning for the give away so when you get a minute send me your address so I can get your prizes off to you. Thanks again for sharing your sweet story.

  19. Both of them are just wonderful and seem spacious..! Great use of space :)

  20. I'm such a sucker for cozy spaces like this. LOVE! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Both small homes are delightful. Each offering a warmth that invites you to relax and soak in their charm. The history of the first home draws me to it. I really enjoy this series, thank you for posting it.
    Nancy thank you for stopping in and leaving your sweet comment.

  22. At first, I was sure that it was The Writer's Cottage for me! It looks so warm and charming. Perfect setting in the woods. Then I saw the second cottage. Sigh. How could one choose? They're both, though different from one another, perfect. I do love all the light, airy feel of the second one. Beautiful!

  23. LOVED . . .
    Each of them . . .
    Although I think I will move into the first one tomorrow!

  24. You just make me want to move into all these wonderful small spaces!! or build something to open a guest house!! Perfect spaces for sure!! Hope you have a wonderful day Nancy.

  25. Both are gems and I could definitely live in either one :) Thank you for sharing this home inspiration on the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week!

  26. Loving this series! It brought back this memory. The writer Eugene O'Neil had a house in the sea side town where I grew up. There was a little structure - barely a shed. The story was that it was where O'Neil wrote. I don't know if the story is true, but I liked the idea of a tiny place big enough to hold big ideas.

    1. Susan, I LOVE your phrase "a tiny place big enough to hold big ideas." It's a keeper!

  27. They are both charming, I would love to spend a weekend in either if them! I'm a new follower!

  28. Hi dear Nancy
    Both houses are gorgeous!

    1. I'm glad you like them, Angelica. Thanks for stopping by.

  29. Both are amazing! Love the New England cottage...primitive!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY...

  30. Hi Nancy I love the charm of both homes. You had me at the door of the New England cottage. It is so refreshing to see how smaller homes are decorated. Thank you for sharing both!!

    1. Isn't that dutch door wonderful, Julie? I'm sure that one has been in my past dreams. I love it. :)

  31. Many more great cottages! Love the coastal one! Thank you for linking with HSH! Have a very Merry Christmas!


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